Embleton Mountain wildfire moving towards Whitecroft valley bottom

Photo by Joel Barde

Update, July 14 at 10 a.m.: A new estimate of the Embleton Mountain wildfire has been pegged at 516 hectares.

Resources dedicated to fighting/preparing to fight the blaze include:

-13 firefighters
-18 structure protection personnel (including the personnelle from the Barriere Fire Department and three from Sun Peaks Fire Rescue)
-One helicopter
-Seven pieces of heavy equipment

Inoperable areas are being monitored closely and helicopters are being utilized to bucket hot spots in problematic areas.

Crews are working with the structure protection unit to protect properties and are working along the Heffley-Louis Creek Road to fuel manage the area. The blaze has not breached the road.

Crews are also working along the Todd Mountain Road. Heavy equipment will be working with line locators to complete a fire break from Whitecroft to the gravel pit on Todd Mountain Road. The McClure Forest Service Road (northeast of the fire) and Mount Embleton trail (southwest of the fire) are being assessed for control line feasibility.

The Embleton Mountain wildfire dropped considerably down the western side of the Whitecroft valley this evening and is getting close to the Heffley Louis Creek Rd. 

The area where the wildfire is burning down the mountainside is approximately one kilometre from the northernmost extremity of Whitecroft.

In an email to SPIN, a spokesperson for the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) stated that the BC Wildfire Incident Management team has a plan in place to control the fire as it makes its way towards the valley.  

“Parts of the road through the Whitecroft valley are part of that control plan; crews are on site monitoring the situation and watching to deal with any spot fires or potential breaches of the guard throughout the night,” reads the statement.

Photo by Joel Barde

The statement stated that the plan is to let certain parts of the mountainside burn. “Part of the wildfire management plan is to let certain sections burn so they don’t become problems later in the incident, so that fuel isn’t a problem anymore,”  it reads. 

“If / when BC Wildfire felt there was threat to the Sun Peaks community there would be mobilization of a safety plan / Sun Peaks Fire Rescue would be called out.” 

Reached for comment this evening, a fire information officer with the BC Wildfire Service (BCWS) said that they had not received an update on the dynamics of the Embleton Mountain wildfire this evening

“I know with the winds tonight and increased hot temperatures we’ve had for the last several days there has been some increased fire activity on that fire,” the said.  

The spokesperson added that they hoped to have an update on the fire in the morning. 

The BCWS has been carrying out significant preparatory work since the Embleton Mountain wildfire began. This includes working with a BCWS structure protection unit to protect properties and working along the Heffley-Louis Creek Road to fuel manage the area.

In an interview earlier today, Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Mayor Al Raine said that fire crews from Golden and Barriere have been brought to assist the fight.

Whitecroft is currently under an evacuation order. Sun Peaks is under an evacuation alert, meaning that residents are asked to be prepared to leave if need be. Homes that surround Heffley Lake are also subject to an evacuation alert.

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